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Our Educational Program

The method:   People before profits

UG is committed to providing all the assistance possible to help participants succeed and overcome life circumstances that might keep them from obtaining and sustaining steady employment. This means each person will receive one-on-one individualized help and support from trained mentors to walk them through educational materials, career exploration, and the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of the workforce. Our mentors are trained to look for common stumbling blocks and help participants negotiate short and long-term solutions. The UG job training certification program includes:

  • Weekly classes and homework for career exploration (3 hours per week for 10 weeks, paid)

  • On-the-job training to be a coffee “barista” (16 hours a week)

  • A bi-weekly paycheck and mentoring in personal banking and budgeting

  • Daily supervision and mentoring by Coffee Truck manager or assistant manager

  • Bi-weekly check-ins with community or staff success mentor

  • Optional additional peer-group meetings with Youth First’s Young Adult program (informal, voluntary, no-cost)


  • Envisioning and planning a "design for life"

  • Developing interview skills and creating a resume

  • Job search strategies, career exploration and interest surveys

  • Language as power

  • Understanding a “chain of command” and policy compliance

  • Customer service

  • Overcoming obstacles (transportation, family demands, unstable living situation, juggling a job while being a student, etc.) 

  • Reading a paycheck, taxes

  • Budgeting, banking and credit 

  • Next steps toward building a career

Image by Devin Avery


  • Between ages of 17-29

  • Committed to 4-month process from start to finish, with signed contract

  • Able to be flexible with work schedule within reason

  • Teachable attitude

  • No job experience necessary, but experience won’t disqualify an applicant

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